This is part three in a series that aims to help people at every stage in their business make an informed decision when choosing a CRM. Part one, covering small business CRM, is here and you can find part two covering medium business CRM here.
As we have climbed through the ranks of company size, we end up at the highest point – the enterprise. While many would argue that enterprise-focused CRM systems can be implemented in companies of any size, the complexity, diversity and pricing of large-scale CRMs are simply best suited to companies that actually need them.
The Needs of the Enterprise
While the company may have grown, the core needs do not necessarily have to change. This is especially true when it comes to the problems that CRM systems solve. However, due to the sheer size of most enterprise companies, the methods by which their problems will be addressed are considerably different than in the SMB.
Likely the biggest hurdle that a CRM system will have to overcome is the need for every department to be on the same page, even when they are far removed from one another. Sales, marketing, customer support, call centers…they all need to be seamlessly intertwined with the information that they provide one another. The beauty of an enterprise CRM is that it can be the tie that binds all of these areas together, while simultaneously interfacing with the specific software in each department.
The Names to Know
The proverbial gorilla of enterprise CRM is Salesforce. But that’s far from saying that Salesforce is the only name that a company needs to know. In fact, as the CRM wars heat up, many of the upstart companies are focusing on the enterprise in order to get a piece of the multi-billion dollar remaining enterprise market that Salesforce is ignoring.
But Salesforce isn’t the only monster name in the industry. Oracle plays home to a suite of CRMs for everything from small to enterprise business. Microsoft is of course a player with Dynamics as well. Perhaps the best piece of advice I’ve heard when it comes to choosing which enterprise CRM to use is this – go with a company whose sole focus is CRM.
Who would those companies be? Here’s a quick list to get you started –
This isn’t to say that companies such as Aptean, which also have a focus on supply chain and ERP, are bad options. If that were the case then Microsoft certainly wouldn’t be successful with Dynamics. Rather, it’s a matter of choosing to put your money where someone else’s mouth is, so to speak. When a company is focused on a single problem, it is more likely to help you solve those problems in your organization.
Pulling the Trigger
In the previous two blog posts, we took a dive into each of the recommended names in order to find how they could best fit the needs of small or medium-sized companies. When we’re talking about the enterprise, however, it’s a bit more difficult to narrow down a small list of specific needs. With that in mind, think of this blog post as a primer rather than the be-all, end-all guide to enterprise CRM.
As with any solution, making certain to first narrow down the problem is simply best practice. In the weeks to come we will take a closer look at the overall CRM landscape, including trends and changes that can affect companies of any size.